Africa > East Africa > Kenya > The discovery of the biggest aquifer in Kenya

Kenya: The discovery of the biggest aquifer in Kenya


The discovery of the biggest aquifer from presently on in Kenya's history could any minute at this time put an end to the drought residents of Northern Kenya experience perennially.

The aquifer discovered by UNESCO in Lotikipi of Turkana County is said to have the potential to grow Kenya's water reserves by about 10 % for the next 70 years at an abstraction rate of 1.2 billion cubic metres annually.

Scientists involved in the project say the discovery is even better in significance to the black gold discovered in Turkana a few years ago.

"UNESCO is proud to be a part of this significant finding, which clearly demonstrates how science and technology can contribute to industrialisation and economic increase, and to resolving real societal issues like access to water," UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Gretchen Kalonji said.

The Lotikipi aquifer is said to hold 200 billion cubic metres of fresh water replenished by underground streams and no one knows how much of a game-changer the aquifer is than the Turkana residents who have for decades spent their lives in the search for water.

"You have no idea what this means for out people. Next years of being marginalised, our fortunes have finally changed. Initial with oil and presently with fresh water better than the salt water of Lake Turkana," one resident testified.

Water Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu is congnisant of the benefit the discovery will have not only for the arid and semi-arid communities that surround the 4,164 Km2 aquifer, but for Kenya as a whole.

"Accessibility to water and improved socio-economic life is destined for development particularly for the majority vulnerable populations in Kenya; the displaced, the poor, women and children will presently have a additional viable access to water and from presently on a luck at a better life," she said.

The government, she revealed, is presently working toward getting the water out of the ground and into the hands and mouths of those who need it desperately, "it should be ready for use in the next one to two months."

A smaller aquifer, one of five ear-marked for exploration in Northern Kenya, was as well discovered in Lodwar and should contribute 10 billion cubic metres to Kenya's water supply.

The government is presently as well looking to roll-out the Japanese funded project nationwide at a cost of Sh1.5 billion using the satellite, radar and geological technology that was used to find water 300 metres underground in the Lotikipi plains.

Related Articles
  • Why a proper record of birds in Africa is so important – for Europe

    2018/01/13 Most of Europe’s birds chief south each year around September to escape the northern winter. Some species only migrate as far south as southern Europe. But most cross the Mediterranean Sea to Africa. And a lot of species cross the Sahara Desert to destinations in West Africa such as Nigeria and in East Africa, such as Kenya. Some travel as far south as South Africa. These European birds are diligently monitored. Each April, during the breeding season in the early part of the northern summer, teams of citizen scientists in most European nations gather vast amounts of data on the distribution and densities of breeding – for almost each bird species. Thousands of citizen scientists are involved. They diligently generate the data in their leisure time.
  • New dams in Africa could add risk to power supplies down the line

    2018/01/13 In the 1980s and 1990s parts of Africa saw a surge in dam building for energy production. Next a brief hiatus there has been renewed interested. A lot of new construction projects are planned and underway across sub-Saharan Africa. Hydropower represents a significant and rapidly expanding proportion of electricity production in eastern and southern Africa. Around 90% of national electricity generation in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia comes from hydropower. The share of hydropower in sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 20% of electricity production, is likely to grow rapidly. (If South Africa – which relies on coal powered electricity – was excluded, this figure would be much higher, but separate numbers aren’t available.)
  • Toothless Pan-African Parliament could have meaningful powers

    2018/01/13 The Pan-African Parliament was established by the African Union in 2004. Since again it has not passed a single law. That’s because it’s based on a Protocol that gives it only an advisory role. The parliament can gather data and discuss it, but can’t make binding regulations to change anything. Its limited “consultative and advisory powers” hamper the African Union’s ability to achieve a prosperous and peaceful Africa as envisioned in its Schedule 2063. Is there any point, again, in having this parliament? The 2001 Protocol envisaged that a conference would be organised to “review the operation and effectiveness” of the protocol five years next the establishment of the Parliament, which was 2009. This provision gave rise to the view that such a conference would explore the possibility of granting the Parliament meaningful legislative powers. But no such review has been carried out so far.
  • The EU-Africa summit is now the AU-EU summit. Why the upgrade matters

    2018/01/13 African and European heads of government gathered last week in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, for their 5th summit since 2000. For the initial time, the African Union (AU) rather than “Africa”, officially appears as the European Union’s partner. While plenty has been discussed about youth, migration, security and governance less is being said about the shift from an EU-Africa to an AU-EU summit. Is this just a case of semantics? Next all, the AU has been the key organiser of these triennial summits since they started in 2000. Or are there larger implications? We think there are. The AU-EU summit coincided with the January 2017 statement on the reform of the African Union prepared by Rwandan President Paul Kagame. The statement recommends rationalising “Africa’s” a lot of international partnerships by having the continental body take the lead. This means that the previous, current and next AU chairpersons, plus the AU Commission chairperson and the chairperson of the Regional Economic Communities, would represent the AU, rather than all its member states.
  • World food prices up 8.2% in 2017

    2018/01/13 World food prices rose by 8.2 % in 2017 compared to 2016, the UN's food agency said on Friday (Jan 12). The Food and Agriculture Organisation said that its FAO Food Price Index averaged 174.6 points in 2017, the highest annual average since 2014. In December alone, however, the index - a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities - stood at 169.8 points, down 3.3 % from November, the FAO said in a statement.